What To Consider When Choosing Materials For Fillings

If you are going in to have your damaged teeth restored or filled, you have a choice in materials. When it comes to tooth fillings, you may even have more choices than you realize. Before making your choice, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider, so you can make the best decision for you. 

The Old Standby

Amalgam fillings are the old standby when it comes to tooth restorative dentistry. They are a combination of silver, copper, mercury, and tin. These fillings are one of the least expensive options for you, while being long-lasting and one of the most durable options. 

When you get an amalgam filling, its silver color is noticeable, and the filling may be temporarily sensitive to cold or hot liquids and foods. Because of its durability, these fillings are often used on back molars that get a lot of chewing action. While some people believe these fillings are toxic, the American Dental Association states that they are safe. 

The "New" Old Standby

A very common choice in material for fillings is composite fillings. These fillings are made of glass or quartz resin, so they are a bit more expensive than amalgam fillings. Dentists often choose to use composite fillings to fill small cavities, and to fill cavities for people who have a fear of dental procedures. Composite fillings require less drilling and tooth preparation than other materials, as they can be bonded into place. 

Dental patients often choose composite fillings because they aren't as obvious as amalgam fillings. The dentist can get the composite filling to closely match the color of your natural teeth. However, like natural teeth, composite fillings can stain and discolor with time, and they are less durable than amalgam fillings. 

The Newer Option

A newer option is glass ionomer fillings. These are made of fine glass and acrylic acids. Dentist often use these fillings for area where not much chewing action takes place. This is because these filling are fragile and may fracture with regular chewing. They are often used to fill cavities near the gum line and in between two teeth. 

One advantage of glass ionomer fillings is that they can colored to blend in nicely with the surrounding natural teeth. They can also be made to release fluoride, which can help against tooth decay. 

When you need restorative work done, like fillings, crowns or overlays, don't hesitate to discuss your options in restorative materials available to you. Your dentist like one from Alliance Family Dental can discuss your options and make a recommendation based your dental needs.